And now that free agency is in full swing and most of the major moves have been made, there are a few things that have changed in the mock drafts across the internet. Many draft analysts still have the Buccaneers taking an edge guy, with most settling on Mississippi State's Montez Sweat now. It's worth noting that in a lot of those mocks, Josh Allen out of Kentucky is already gone. As is Nick Bosa. Sweat is no consolation prize after his Combine performance, though.
Another name that is emerging more now, too, is defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. He may be the best interior defensive line prospect in the draft and many don't think he'll make it out of the top three. After free agency, now they do, and both CBS Sports and SB Nation have him falling to the Bucs at five. With a talent like that, it'd be hard for the Bucs not to take him – if they end up picking at five. R.J. White from CBS Sports actually has the Bucs trading down with the Lions and picking up Brian Burns out of Florida State and pick No. 8.
Then of course, there are analysts picking Devin White, which after linebacker Kwon Alexander's departure in free agency would probably make sense. Heck, White is also from LSU just like Alexander was. We're starting to get the same couple of names popping up now that the draft is inching nearer. See below for the rest of the picks.
Charles Davis (March 15) – DE Montez Sweat, Mississippi St.
Davis: "A leader at ILB (like LSU's Devin White) makes sense here, but head coach Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles believe that speed and pressure drive a defense. Sweat provides both (his 4.41 40-yard dash at the combine was a modern record for a defensive lineman)."
Chad Reuter (March 7) – LB Devin White, LSU
Reuter: "With three quarterbacks going in the top four in this scenario, the Bucs get their pick of the top defensive players other than Bosa. They're moving to a 3-4 defense this year and White would lead that group admirably."
Daniel Jeremiah (March 5) – DE Montez Sweat, Mississippi St.
Jeremiah: "No prospect has helped himself more since the season ended than Sweat. He followed up a great Senior Bowl showing with a huge combine."
Todd McShay (March 6) – DE Montez Sweat, Mississippi St.
McShay: "If you set a combine record for the fastest 40-yard dash for a defensive lineman (4.41 seconds, at 260 pounds), you're going to make some money. Sweat has a ton of upside, and Tampa Bay badly needs difference-makers on defense. But there's also a very real possibility that the Bucs trade back with a team looking for a quarterback, and taking the best available offensive lineman -- perhaps Jawaan Taylor -- makes sense in that scenario."
View photos of Daniel Jeremiah's top 50 prospects of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Ryan Wilson (March 17) – DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama
Wilson: "Williams is a monster. He dominated just about every snap during the 2018 season and he came to the combine and dominated there too. He blazed a 4.83 40-yard dash, which only confirms what we already knew: His physical abilities are off the charts, and he's not only a legit top-5 talent, he has an argument as the top-overall pick. Yes, the Buccaneers drafted Vita Vea a year ago but Gerald McCoy is 31 years old and will count roughly $13 million against the cap in each of the next three years."
Chris Trapasso (March 17) – LB Devin White, LSU
Trapasso: "With Kwon Alexander gone, the Buccaneers have to get more athletic in their linebacker group. With White, they get a supremely gifted athlete."
R.J. White (March 13) – TRADE with Detroit, DE Brian Burns, Florida State
White: "Buccaneers get No. 8, 43 for No. 5, 70. The Bucs should feel comfortable moving down a few spots if someone wants to jump for a QB, as the value really isn't on the board for them if Bosa and Allen go in the top four as expected. Here they jump up nearly a full round on Day 2 and still land an edge rusher who had a great combine for Todd Bowles' defense."
Dan Kadar (March 18) – DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama
Kadar: "Although Williams doesn't address Tampa Bay's key offseason needs, his value as a prospect is too great to pass up at No. 5. With Vita Vea, last year's first-round pick, Williams could be lined up inside and outside for the Buccaneers."
Scott Reynolds (March 17) – DE Josh Allen, Kentucky
Reynolds: "PewterReport.com was the first to feature LSU inside linebacker Devin White going to Tampa Bay with the fifth overall draft pick in our initial 2019 Bucs' Six-Round Mock Draft and also had White going to the Bucs at No. 10 in a trade down scenario with Denver in our second Bucs mock draft. That could very well still happen, as Tampa Bay needs help at inside linebacker after losing Kwon Alexander to San Francisco in free agency.
But let's mix it up and illustrate a scenario where one of the top draft prospects falls to Tampa Bay at No. 5. If Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray goes No. 1 overall to Arizona and another team, such as Miami, Denver or the New York Giants trade into the top 4 to select Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins, one of the top three defenders – Ohio State edge rusher Nick Bosa, Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams or Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen would be available for the Bucs at No. 5.
In this case it's Allen, who would be an ideal fit as weakside outside linebacker in Todd Bowles' 3-4 base defensive scheme. Allen would be the perfect heir apparent to Jason Pierre-Paul, who turned 30 on January 1, and a player that could come in and be an impactful situational player as a rookie without the pressure of playing every down as he transitions to the NFL in his first season."